FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4TH, 2020

While scrolling through  Instagram, it is hard to ignore the countless posts with images of fruit bowls that look very aesthetic and artsy. Açai (ah-sah-ee) bowls have become the latest food trend due to their artistic looks and nutritional value.  Açai is a small, berry-like fruit found mainly in Central and South American countries. According to many studies, it contains more antioxidants than any other berry, . Among other health benefits, açai promotes heart and skin health, aids in weight loss and improves cellular health.

A typical açai bowl consists of açai pulp mixed with soy, coconut or almond milk along with a variety of fruits. Bowls are typically topped with sprinkled granola, coconut shavings and a drizzle of honey for sweetness. The most common fruits associated with açai bowls are strawberries, bananas and blueberries. The different fruits, along with the oats, give the bowl great variety of textures, colors and flavors.

Recently, an açai bowl eatery opened in downtown Palo Alto, fueling the craze. Bare Bowls, which opened last November, has become popular due to its bowls, smoothies and coffee.

According to Bare Bowls, everything sold is homemade and made with pure ingredients. This means bowls are made with unsweetened açai pulp and fresh fruits.

According to junior Kate Abed, Bare Bowls, along with other places where açai bowls are sold, have become popular due to the fact that they attract a large range of people.

“As someone who has dietary restrictions, it’s often hard to find a restaurant that caters to my specific diet,” Abed said. “I like that I can go to Bare Bowls, order something, and feel confident that what I’m eating is not only beneficial to my health, but works with my diet.”

Bare Bowls has a wide selection of açai bowls with different fruits and ingredients, creating a range of options catering to varying preferences.

The Cardinal bowl is the more traditional açai bowl, coming with açai pulp and cashew milk along with strawberries, bananas and blueberries. Additionally, it is topped with granola and honey. The consistency of the açai pulp lands somewhere in between ice cream and yogurt. The sweet and fresh taste of the açai bowl makes it clear that Bare Bowls uses fresh fruits and ingredients along with unsweetened açai pulp.

Overall, Bare Bowls is the perfect place to start or end your day with a nutritious and healthy food option. However, Bare Bowls tends to be on the pricey side with $8 for the small and $12 for the large bowl size compared to Jamba Juice, which offers a 12 oz bowl and a 16 oz bowl for a lower price. Despite these high costs, Bare Bowls’ açai bowls are definitely worth the price.

Bare Bowls offers six different açai bowls and five different blends. The variety and wide selection of the menu is appealing because the customer is not limited in options.

Due to their popularity, other places have tagged along with the açai trend. For example, last September, Jamba Juice incorporated açai bowls into their menu, as they are in line with the company’s focus. Jamba also offers a wide range of bowls and two different sizes: the 12 oz bowl with a price of $4.39 and a 16 oz bowl with a price of $5.09.

Though Jamba Juice’s prices may be lower than Bare Bowls, this difference in price is apparent in its quality. Jamba Juice’s Açai Primo Bowl has mostly the same ingredients as Bare Bowl’s Cardinal bowl, yet they taste different.

The consistency of Jamba’s bowl is runny and the blueberries seemed to be frozen. According to Jamba Juice’s nutrition facts, the Açai Primo Bowl has 69 grams of sugar, while the Bare Bowl Cardinal Bowl only contains 24 grams of sugar, making the Cardinal Bowl the more appealing and healthier choice.

Next time you feel like trying a new or different food, try having an açai bowl. Not only are they healthy, but they can also double as a great and artsy Instagram post.

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